HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)--The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is relaunching its campaign to protect your holiday purchases, through a free service that allows citizens to have their online orders shipped to select HCSO district offices.
"Operation Pinch-A-Grinch," which originally launched in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, safeguarded more than $10,000 worth of purchases.
"Last year, we had more than 200 reports of package thefts in Hillsborough County which amounted to more than $130,000 in total losses," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "We've made it a cinch to protect those packages: Use Operation Pinch-A-Grinch!"
Starting November 8, 2021, through December 21, 2021, Hillsborough County residents will be able to have their online orders shipped directly to one of two HCSO district offices. Depending on the location closest to their homes, residents can ship their packages to the District III office located at 7202 Gunn Highway in Tampa, or the District V office, located at 10128 Windhorst Road in Tampa. A deputy will accept and safeguard your packages -- for free -- at both locations. At this time, deputies at the two district offices will accept packages from Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and USPS. All packages must be 50 pounds or less.
Pick up at both district offices is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Residents must bring a government-issued photo identification card and a tracking number for their order to retrieve their packages.
"Online shopping is easy, but don't make it easy for these porch pirates this holiday season by leaving packages unattended outside of your home," added Sheriff Chronister. "We all have busy schedules these days, so let us take care of your packages, so you can take care of work, school, or whatever else the day brings you."
"Operation Pinch-A-Grinch" also offers residents an opportunity to donate to HCSO Charities if they wish to do so. Amazon will donate 0.5% of each purchase if account holders shop through smile.amazon.com and select "HCSO Charities" on the drop-down button.
A Public Service Announcement (PSA) about Operation Pinch-A-Grinch can be viewed here.
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